LACBA Update Back Issues - March 2015

Family Law Section Expands Daily Settlement Officer Program to Compton Court

Volunteers are needed to help resolve disputes.

To provide improved service to the members of the Compton community, LACBA’s Family Law Section will expand its Daily Settlement Officer (DSO) program, which currently operates in the Downtown Los Angeles courthouse, to the South Central Court beginning March 12, 2015.

The DSO program provides the Central District Family Law courts with settlement officers who are family lawyers and forensic accountants. The settlement officers must be State Bar members, LACBA members, and either a Certified Family Law Specialist or have been practicing Family Law in the last five years. CPA settlement officers must be a licensed CPA, an active member of the California Society of CPAs, and hold a Certified in Financial Forensics credential, or have practiced accounting, primarily in the area of family law forensic accounting, during the past five years.

Settlement officers have been extraordinarily successful in resolving disputes in the Downtown court, settling more than 60% of the referred cases.

Judge Maren Nelson, Supervising Judge of the Family Law division of the Los Angeles Superior Court, asked the Family Law Section to expand its program into the Compton court. Previously, the Family Law Section stepped in to fill the gap in the Downtown court when budget cuts forced the dismantling of the courts’ ADR program.

“I thank Cari Pines, who has been the driving force behind this program,” said Peter M. Walzer, chair of the Family Law Section. “She is on the Family Law Section executive committee and a chair of the ADR committee. In addition, I thank the service-minded family lawyers and accountants who daily give of their time to serve the community and the courts.”

Walzer continued, “Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman was recently assigned to Compton from Pasadena. Judge Gould-Saltman is a Fellow of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Commissioner Stephen Lowry and Judge Gould-Saltman are dedicated to providing outstanding service to the people of Compton who come to the court with family law matters.”

To find out more about the DSO program, please contact Peter M. Walzer, chair of the Family Law Section, at (818) 591-3700 or pmw@walzermelcher.com.

To volunteer for the Compton DSO program, please contact Heidi Tuffias at (310) 207-2500 or htuffias@heidituffias.com.